KNCSB event focuses on small groups

Small groups can play a key role in helping a church reach people for Christ and disciple them.

The third annual KNCSB Normative Church Conference focused on disciple-making small groups. It was held Friday night, April 24, and Saturday, April 25, at Webster Conference Center, Salina, Kan. The event drew 180 participants from all over Nebraska and Kansas, plus a delegation from Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church, Buhler, Kan.

Keith Strasburger and Gene Jacobs were the conference leaders. They are on the staff of Real Life Ministries, Post Falls, Idaho. Real Life Ministries is a non-denominational church that has experienced explosive growth through disciple-making, reproducing small groups.

During the opening session on Friday night, April 24, Strasburger gave an overview of the five key components of a disciple-making church:

  • Biblical foundation
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  • Intentional leadership
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  • Relational environment
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  • Reproducible disciple-making process
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  • Alignment—theological, relational, philosophical and organizational


First, Strasburger led the crowd in looking at the biblical foundation for relationship.

From the beginning God’s design has been for people to be in fellowship with Him and each other, he said.

Strasburger pointed out numerous Scripture passages on relationship, including, Acts 2:42-47. This passage is a key example of Christians living in an intentional relationship with God and each other.

“We’re to do [life] together so the world will know we’re His disciples,” Strasburger said.

Second, the Normative Church Conference focused on how to be an intentional leader to create a church of disciple-making disciples.

An intentional leader understands his role is to reach the lost, make disciples and create environments where discipleship can happen.

Third, the crowd looked at how to create a relational environment. The heart of such an environment is to create a loving, caring atmosphere where accountability can happen.

There also is a biblical foundation where people learn God’s Word and how to apply it to their lives.

The intentional leader keeps the group focused on its purpose of reaching and discipling people. The leader reminds the group that it will eventually need to divide to form new groups.

Strasburger emphasized that Real Life Ministries is not a small-group church. Instead, the church uses small groups to reach people for Christ and disciple them.

For more in-depth training in leading small groups, Strasburger invited the crowd to attend Discipleshift1 sponsored by Real Life Ministries. Find more information

The dates for Discipleshift1 are:

  • June 24-25—Richmond, Ky.
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  • July 15-16 —Post Falls, Idaho
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  • Aug. 12-13—Everett, Wash.
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  • Sept. 9-10—Post Falls, Idaho
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  • Oct. 21-22—Post Falls, Idaho
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  • Nov. 11-12—Troy, Ill. (St. Louis area)


Conference participants were urged to put the 2016 KNCSB Normative Church Conference on their calendars and make plans to attend. It will be held April 22-23 at Webster Conference Center.